In India, Honda is known for its sedans. The Amaze and the City have been successful products in our country. Earlier, the Japanese manufacturer was working on a compact SUV that was based on the Amaze. However, they have now dropped that plan and will be developing a new mid-size SUV for the Indian market.
The new mid-size SUV will be based on the City’s platform. It will measure around 4.3-metres in length. The main rivals of the new SUV will be Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq and the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun. However, because of the price overlap, it would also be going against Renault Duster, Nissan Kicks, Tata Harrier and MG Hector.
The mid-size SUV is expected to get launched in the second half of 2023. This is because the compact SUV that was earlier in development would have launched in the second half of 2022 and now the whole plan is being scrapped, the manufacturer would have to start the whole process again which would delay the launch of the new mid-size SUV.
Compact SUV scrapped
At first, it makes sense for Honda to enter the compact SUV segment but if we look closely the manufacturer already has WR-V which does not really sell in good numbers. Then there is another issue which is that the compact SUV segment is already very overcrowded with vehicles that are quite affordable and also expensive.
There are affordable compact SUVs like Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite. Then there is Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet and Ford Ecosport which are priced slightly higher. Finally, you have Tata Nexon, Toyota Urban Cruiser, Mahindra XUV 300 and the higher variants of Kia Seltos which exceed the Rs. 13 lakh mark. So, it would have been very difficult for Honda to enter such stiff competition and establish itself.
New mid-size SUV
When compared the mid-size SUV segment is still not overcrowded. The SUV has a new internal code, 31XA and it is being called S-SUV internally. It is expected to be offered as a two-row and a three-row SUV. So, the two-row or the 5-seater would go against the Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, MG Hector and Tata Harrier. Whereas the three-row version would compete against the Tata Safari, Hyundai Alcazar, MG Hector Plus and the upcoming Mahindra XUV 700.
The production version of the new mid-size SUV is expected to get its design elements from the Honda N7X Concept that was revealed in Indonesia. The manufacturer has also recently filed a trademark for the name “Elevate” which they could use for the upcoming SUV.
The S-SUV will be sharing a lot of its underpinning from the City. So, it will get the same platform, 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines, transmission options and other bits and pieces. The electronic architecture that the SUV will use will be derived from the old BR-V. This will be done to save costs and price the SUV competitively. Honda is aiming for a localization level of over 90 percent and they are aiming to sell 40,000 units of the SUV every year.